The Kyabazinga of Busoga William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV has issued a directive to political leaders at the district and sub county levels to make regulations and bye laws aimed at prohibiting early marriages in Busoga.
The Kyabazinga who is furious with his area leading in cases of early marriage has used the Christmas holiday to meet all district chairpersons and all sub county chairpersons in Busoga at separate meetings at his Igenge palace to purposely forge a way forward against the vice.
Speaking to our reporter immediately after the Christmas prayers at Christ’s Cathedral Bugembe on Sunday, the kingdom prime minister Dr Joseph Muvawala revealed that immediately after meeting the Sub County Chairperson, Kyabazinga issued a statement directing leaders at all levels and in all capacities to use every fora and opportunity to condemn early marriage and put in place stringent measures against it.
Dr Muvawala says the kingdom administration will also task some ministers to move around the region conducting sensitization workshops to enlighten the masses on the dangers of early marriage.
“Some of these young girls are even denied opportunity to study because their parents want to give them away at a tender age and enjoy dowry but this is abuse of their rights, we have now stopped issuing kingdom marriage certificates without proof about the age of the girl in question.
One to get a marriage certificate of Obwa Kyabazinga must first adduce the birth certificate of the bride” Prime minister added.
He says that the Kingdom will also work alongside established religious systems like mothers union, fathers union to reach out to parents asking them to speak to their children about the risks
associated with early marriages like maternal mortality and fistula among others.
Stephen Wanyagira, the chairperson Fathers’ Union at St James Church in Jinja town says welcomes the Kyabazinga’s call saying it is timely and pertinent.
“We in church have been wondering why such loud voices have been quiet; I am now convinced that his involvement in the fight against early marriages will create all the impact and awareness needed for the community to shun the practice” he said.
Samson Kawuzi, the sub county chairman for Balawoli in Kamuli district says, “when council resumes next year, I will table before my councilors a proposal of making a bye-law the incriminates and heavily punishes parents who marry off their children before age”
According to Dr Muvawala, the kingdom has also prioritized tree planting and revival of community service for the year 2017 in attempt to overcome the drought that has culminated into serious famine ravaging most families in Busoga.